High Court backs disclosing Ameenee Magu project agreement

A capture from the ceremony held to mark the commencement of physical works on redevelopment of Ameenee Magu on August 30, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

High Court has backed Information Commissioner’s (ICOM) decision ordering to disclose the agreement executed between Planning Ministry and Road Development Corporation (RDC) regarding the redevelopment of Ameenee Magu up to modern standards.

A private individual, under the Right to Information Act, requested the disclosure of the agreement executed between Planning Ministry and RDC regarding Ameenee Magu redevelopment project, including the drawings; a request which the Planning Ministry had refused to comply with stating the information need not be disclosed under the Act.

The individual then submitted the case to ICOM – following which the Commission ordered Planning Ministry to disclose the information. The decision was appealed by Planning Ministry to High Court.

High Court, in its decision in the case on Monday, said Planning Ministry failed to establish that the disclosure of the agreement fell under extenuating circumstances demanding non-disclosure.

The Court’s judgment read that Planning Ministry reasoned its decision against disclosing the agreement as possible adverse impact on a third party. However, the Court said that as RDC falls within the purview of the government authority, the extenuating circumstances cannot apply in this manner.

High Court ordered the disclosure of Ameenee Magu project agreement alongside its drawings by the unanimous agreement of the three judges who presided over the case.

The project to develop Ameenee Magu had originally been contracted to Male’ City Council for MVR 39 million, but was later contracted to RDC for over double the cost – MVR 84 million.

The 1.7-kilometer Ameenee Magu is set to be redeveloped with asphalt, a modern storm drain system, and street lights.